My top 14 favorite art & faith books

A few weeks ago, a friend and I were talking about one of my favorite subjects. Sitting on her back deck, bundled in blankets against some especially cool September breezes, sipping herbal tea, we stumbled into the conversation about writing. The conversation quickly shifted - as tends to happen - to what it means to make time for writing even without sensing inspiration. And how it sometimes is guilt-inducing to put time into something that's not "productive" in the technical sense. 

It's hard to believe how long I've gone without this kind of conversation since it represents some of the most life-changing learnings of my whole life.

This is a list of books that I've either read or referenced, and have found important to the overall conversation about the role of art in our walk of faith, particularly for those who make art or minister to artists.


Breath for the Bones: Art, Imagination, and Spirit: A Reflection on Creativity and Faith by Luci Shaw || I wrote a short review here.

Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling by Andy Crouch || This book is on my top 15 from the past 15 years list. I wrote about hearing Andy Crouch talk about the subject here

Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles and Ted Orland || Another game changer. You can read the review here.

For the Beauty of the Church: Casting a Vision for the Arts by W. David O. Taylor || Another book that changed my life. You can read a bit about that here. If you scroll through these posts, you'll also find that I wrote a blog post for each chapter here.

Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeleine L'Engle || I read this book shortly before I started blogging, and am surprised to discover I've never written a review. You can kind of view the last 11 years of blogging as a response.

The Christian Imagination: The Practice of Faith in Literature and Writing edited by Leland Ryken || This might be the first book I read with the intention of learning how to be an artist of faith, a couple of years before I started this blog. As such I don't have an archived review, but this post has an excerpt.

Imagine: A Vision for Christians in the Arts by Steve Turner || This post includes an excerpt.

Scribbling in the Sand: Christ and Creativity by Michael Card || You can read a reflection and a couple of excerpts from this book here.

Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art, and Culture by Makoto Fujimura

Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's Life by Kathleen Norris || I've reflected on this book in several posts, but here's the mini-review I wrote just after reading it.

Art and the Bible by Francis Schaeffer

The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy L. Sayers

The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron

The Habit of Being: The Letters of Flannery O'Connor | This is more about the way Ms. O'Connor integrated her own faith with her work as a writer, but I think what she has to say is important for all artists of faith to consider. I wrote a review here.


What books about art and faith would you recommend? 

p.s. This post contains affiliate links because I'm trying to be a good steward, and when you buy something through one of these links you don't pay more money, but in some magical twist of capitalism we get a little pocket change. Thanks!